For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Immigration Bill Dead and Buried (For Two Years Or So...)

Have been so busy working and not having access to the internet... Catching up on news. First, hooray!!! We won the Immigration Bill battle. It's dead for at least two they say. Fred Thompson had this to say:

This has been a good day for America.

For a while, it didn’t look like Washington was going to listen to us regarding real immigration reform. Thankfully, we’ve been spared a serious mistake, but I wonder if things would have turned out the way they did without the work done by the bloggers, talk radio and the American people. Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, RedState, Powerline, Pajamas Media and a lot of others have done a great job. Take that, Fairness Doctrine.

According to Rasmussen, who is fast becoming my favorite pulse taker, only 22% of the American people supported this bill.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fred Pulls Ahead!

Still to announce his candidacy in Nashville, perhaps next week sometime, Fred Thompson has pulled ahead in the latest Rasmussen poll 27% over Giuliani 23%, Romney 12%, and McCain 11%. Another poll shows both Thompson and Giuliani even in a match-up with Senator Barack Obama. Nothing recent in match-ups between Hillary and Thompton, though Giuliani and Hillary are even; and McCain has fallen behind the former First Lady.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

House Republican Conference Rejects Immigration Bill

Earlier today the Senate voted 64-35 in favor of cloture for the Immigration Bill, which sends the bill to the senate floor for debate over proposed amendments. The next cloture vote is expected on Thursday.

But while that was going on, the House Republicans conference decided to get together for a preliminary vote on the yet unfinished bill. It was rejected 114-23. The significance of this unofficial act should not be overlooked since the bill will have to come back through the House if the Senate passes it. Speaker Pelosi has warned the President that at least 70 Republican votes are needed for the Immigration Bill to pass the House to make up for its expected rejection by some Democrats living in conservative districts.

Although this news item did not stop the Senate from voting in favor of cloture today, it will undoubtedly have an effect on Thursday's vote. Some senators are no doubt breathing sighs of relief after feeling so much pressure from the White House and party leaders to vote in favor of said bill. Last Wednesday House Republicans introduced sweeping border security legislation that targets employers hiring illegals, beefing up border security, and detaining illegal immigrants. Implementing their suggested "employment eligibility verification" program would cost billions due to its high tech nature.

Here Comes The New Bill...Same As The Old Bill

Later this morning we should find out if the dreaded Immigration Bill will be killed again, or if it will move to a cloture vote. According to Sean Hannity there are some Senators who plan to vote for cloture (to end debate and allow the bill to be voted on once and for all) but then vote against the bill. The former requires 60 votes while the latter only 51. So in other words, a vote for cloture is a vote for the bill, even if the second vote on the bill itself is against it. That's Congress. Both of my senators (Oklahoma) are in line. Are yours? If not, get on the phone and apply pressure, then repeat. Please note: Congress approval ratings have sunk to the teens.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Michael Bloomberg Leaves Republican Party

Frankly, I hadn't noticed he was in it. Well, good-bye...and good luck Mr. Mayor.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where's the Fence???

Supporters of the Immigration Bill are still trying to breathe new life into it, and have claimed that as many as 24 Republicans would vote yes to move ahead with the bill (while only 7 backed it before). What's up their sleeves?---Allowing new amendments dealing with opposition concerns to be voted upon, for one. Another is the so-called $4.4 billion border enforcement amendment which, as you can guess, is supposed to add even more money to enforcing the border. Why are conservatives so convinced that Congress cannot be trusted with including border enforcement with the Immigration Bill? Well, one only need to look at last Fall's $35 billion DHS appropriations bill, which was intended to fund a huge fence, and how it got watered down. Originally 700 miles of fence was intended, which was reduced to 370 miles with the option to spend the money allocated for that on other things instead. The refusal of the Immigration Bill supporters to hasten the construction of the fence in order to gain more support goes further to prove their insincerity in enforcing the border at all. It is just not a priority with them. So President Bush's proposal to toss in another 4 or 5 billion dollars does little to placate my concerns or those of most people on the right side of this issue.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Giuliani and Thompson tied in National Poll

A poll of likely Republican primary voters was released today by the Rasmussen Report and shows Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson tied at 24% each! This is very good news for Fred Thompson, whom not yet having entered the race, has come from behind to tie the party front runner. Last week the same polls showed him trailing Giuliani by seven points 24% to Thompson's 17%. That's the good news for Fred.

The bad news is that Hillary still leads Fred 48% to 43%, which is down slightly from a month ago when she lead him 47% to 44%. Why the click upward for her is anyone's guess. And yet 47% of Americans swear they will vote against her if she runs in the general election. Her approval/disapproval numbers are even at 49% per Rasmussen, while Thompson's are much more promising at 45% favorable and only 31% unfavorable. No word on Giuliani-Hillary comparison that isn't at least a month old. Rudy lead her then, as did McCain. Oddly enough, Edwards leads Giuliani who leads Hillary who leads Edwards. Can you tell it's early in the campaign?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Immigration Bill More Popular Than Harry Reid

Like a recurring joke in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, the Immigration Bill is not completely dead, but it is very ill. In fact it is feeling better, and may return soon in one form or several. Yes, they might try to pass each individual item listed in the bill over the next couple of years.

In the mean time a senator like Harry Reid, who is polling at 19% approval and 45% disapproval (see Dennis Miller rant), will likely not make too much of an issue of all this anytime soon. In fact I would expect him to tread quite lightly for a time until such ratings rise to the level of Dick Cheney.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Immigration Bill Dies in Senate

Not more than 90 minutes ago, the Immigration Bill, often referred to as the Amnesty Bill or even the Shamnesty Bill died on the Senate floor when the cloture vote failed 45-50. Senator Mitch McConnell lead the charge against the bill, but took the time to thank the 11 Democrats in joining the NO votes.

The Immigration Bill infuriated people on both sides of the issue. The Republicans have claimed that it was nothing more than a repeat of the Amnesty Bill of 1986, while many of the most liberal Democrats felt it went too far in punishing immigrants who simply want a better life (it should be noted here that liberal Democrats do not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration when the illegal immigrants vote Democrat).

The Immigration Bill debate has been marked by fractions in both parties, most notably in the Republican Party, where even President Bush and/or close allies accused the Republican base of being fear-mongering racists. Other unfair attacks came from both Linda Chavez and Giraldo Rivera, neither of whom (IMHO) would be supporting illegals if the illegals were all Russian--Chavez would be calling for investigations into Russian human-sex-trade trafficking, while Rivera would be doing stories on the Russian mafia and how their presence hurts our great nation. It is their own xenophobia that makes them support the vast wave of Hispanics entering illegally from the South.

Why has illegal immigration been a problem for so long? I'm sure all of you know, but I will go on record as to why. Both Democrats and Republicans in power have desired the influx of illegals for years for their own selfish reasons--much to the chagrin (pardon my French) of the general public. The Dems want more poor people to be dependent on the government so Dems garner more votes; while business owners (many of whom are Republican out of self interest) want cheap labor. So the government has been saying that illegal immigration is bad, while beckoning them to enter our country with a "wink and a nod" by giving them benefits and keeping the borders weakly patrolled. Large cities aren't helping by giving sanctuary to illegals or not allowing police officers to inquire legal status during arrests. I was almost certain that in 1995 when the Republicans took control of Congress, that the issue of illegal immigration would've been dealt with. But it wasn't. After 9-11 I was very certain that a wall would be built quickly, what with a Republican in the White House and Republicans still controlling both houses in Congress. But it wasn't. No, it wasn't until the Democrats took control of Congress that the issue was addressed. How insulting it has been to hear Republicans like John McCain say that it's the best bill we can get in a compromise. If they hadn't waited, there would be little need for compromise.

So what now? Will Congress take Peggy Noonan's advice and the advice of all right thinking Republicans (even most presidential candidates) and close the borders first, and THEN deal with the illegals already here? And what of those illegals currently residing in the US? Is it right for us to rip them out of their lives here (some have been here a long while) and ship them home to countries that many can no longer identify with? We as a nation shouldn't ignore the wink and nod they were given, along with their own poverty at the time, that enticed them to sneak in illegally. But how can we put them ahead of those who wait in line legally and jump through all the hoops for years and years? After we protect this country's borders we should take the time to have a national debate on their disposition...with no upside-down American flags being flown below Mexican ones. And we'll also try to forget shouts of "Osama" at sporting events between Mexico and the US, or their booing of Miss USA. Or will we?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Of all the candidates on stage last night in the Republican debate, and arguably the most qualified, former Wisconsin Governor and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, looked the most uncomfortable and least likable. And that's a real shame, because last night may have been his swan-song.

I've had dreams of a Thompson-Twins ticket as Fred/Tommy or even Tommy/Fred, but Tommy looked so stiff and even angry at times--it seemed as though he was yelling at the audience each time he answered a question--that I think he would garner very few votes and be an impediment to the ticket. That's a shame.

It is a shame indeed the way we parade candidates out on stage as if for a beauty contest or for their movie audition. A candidate like Tommy Thompson, who has proven himself to be a very creative problem solver with school choice (he pioneered that) and welfare reform (the first Gov. to institute it successfully), doesn't stand a chance if he isn't slick like Romney or affable like Giuliani. Don't get me wrong, Romney is probably a good man, a good candidate, and would likely make a good President (unlike Giuliani, who claims to hate abortion but donates money to further its spread), but Mit doesn't have a truely conservative track record as consistent as Governor Tommy.

Someone needs to sit down with Governor Thompson and explain something to him; that coming off like someones hard-of-hearing grandfather yelling opinions across the kitchen table is not going to win him the laurels and garlands of this country's electorate.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

President Thompson? (Fred)

This past Friday former Tennessee Senator Fred Dalton Thompson informally announced that he is seriously considering a run for the White House in '08. This, after most polls show him in double digits even though he has not officially thrown his hat into the rather lackluster ring, he is expected to do so on July 4th. So rather than wait until July I figured it was time to write something about him now. First things first, a little background on the man.
Born in Sheffield, AL on August 19, 1942, he actually grew up in Lawrenceburg, TN and married his first wife when he was only 17. He received his bachelors in philosophy and political science from Memphis State University and his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 1967.

Now I may get a bit detailed here due to the fact that Democrats like to refer to him as merely an actor. He's been much more than that. From 1969 to 1972 he worked as assistant US attorney in TN and then as Senator Howard Baker's campaign manager for re-election in '72. And while Hillary Clinton was working hard on the Democrat side to impeach President Nixon, Fred Thompson was working as co-chief council to the Senate Watergate Committee. He was responsible for Senator Baker asking "what did the President know and when did he know it?" Thompson himself asked the famous question: "Mr Butterfield, are you aware of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?"
In 1977 Thompson helped run Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton out of office early for allegedly selling pardons toward the end of his term. When a movie called Marie was made about the incident Thompson played himself, which launched his movie career. It has been a career of acting rolls in 24 movies and two TV series, most notably In the Line of Fire and Hunt for Red October, and playing District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's Law & Order.

In 1994 he won election to the Senate (seat vacated by Al Gore who became VP), and then won re-election by a landslide in 1996 to a six-year term. During his Senate years, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs and presided over the China-gate hearings, which investigated whether or not Chinese authorities bribed US politicians with illegal campaign contributions in exchange for Most Favored Nation Trading Status and possibly classified missile technology information. During the hearings Thompson's motions were often obstructed by Democratic Senators John Glenn (most notably), Carl Levin, and Robert Torricelli. The fact that most of those witnesses subpoenaed by Thompson's committee either fled the country or plead the fifth amendment, coupled with a lack of cooperation from either side of the aisle to take the hearings to their proper conclusion (possibly resulting in the discovery of startling and damaging revelations about those in question) forced Senator Thompson to abruptly end the investigations.

Also during his Senate years it should be noted that he introduced/authored virtually no legislation whatsoever, and had a reputation for complaining about long hours in the Senate. Some votes of note were in favor of McCain-Feingold (which he has since declared hasn't lived up to its expectations) as well as votes on the Articles of Impeachment of President Clinton--against the charge of perjury but for the charge of Obstruction of Justice. His complete Senate voting record can be found here.

After stating post 9-11 "now is not the time to leave," he decided against re-election in '02, some say because he simply got bored. A far more likely reason was the untimely death of his daughter Elizabeth from an overdose of prescription drugs on January 30th 2002.

He is currently in his second marriage to a woman 20 years his junior with whom he has fathered two children, since having fathered two other children from his previous marriage. His first wife has promised to campaign for him should he actually run for President.

He is a member of the Church of Christ, which is historically linked to the Restoration Movement of Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell. This movement sought to return to predenominational, original Christianity without extra creeds being added by church hierarchies found in other religions. This church bases its doctrine primarily on the Holy Bible, with nearly all emphasis put on the New Testament. While the Old Testament is honored, the Church of Christ doesn't feel bound to it legally due to the New Covenant with Christ.

His stand on the issues today are virtually identical to his senate voting record. He is pro-life on abortion, against gun control, in favor of prohibiting same sex marriage, in favor of the military surge in Iraq, supports the war on terror, supports extending President Bush's tax cuts,... You can follow Thompson on his opinions daily here in his blog at ABC Radio's website.

The American Conservative Union gave Thompson a lifetime rating of 86 out of 100. Let's face it. He is every conservative's dream when it comes to issues, including appointing prospective Supreme Court justices. President Bush turned to Fred Thompson when he needed someone to guide his nomination of John Roberts for Supreme Court Justice through the Senate; and he did so successfully. He's like Reagan in his ability to communicate with people, a plain talker, but that is so far only when scripted. His ad-libbing needs some brushing up, if a recent speech using note cards is any indication.

Is he entering too late? By today's standards he might be. A lot of money has already been raised by other candidates on a level never before seen. Some candidates brought barrels of money into the race with them. But if the Steven Forbes or Ross Perot campaigns are any indication, money doesn't buy opinions--it only buys attention. Fred Thompson will be running a different kind of campaign, one that utilizes other less costly advantages to get his message out. He has face recognition already from his movies and more recent TV work. But more importantly he has been substituting for Paul Harvey on the radio and reaching a huge and informed audience of registered voters. No one can accuse Paul Harvey of not having a powerful microphone, which he has been loaning to Thompson. There is also the afore mentioned Fred Thompson blog. Expect the internet to be utilized often through You-tube and other means. Speaking of which...that was a pretty good smack-down he did on Michael Moore.

Democrats may accuse him of being a do-nothing Senator; but certainly no worse than former Senator "No-Show" John Edwards, a contender for his party's nomination. So other than Thompson's weak record in the Senate (which could foretell a do-nothing Presidency, which could also make him a do-no-harm President), there appears to be nothing damaging about him which could torpedo a successful run for the White House, except perhaps his history of cancer---but that is in remission; or his divorce---but not only does his ex-wife still like him, she plans to campaign for him. All he really needs to do is beat Giuliani in the likability factor and he could get the nomination.